Akumal Resident Liz Conover died in New York City on Monday August 29, 2016, at the age of 71, after living two years with lung cancer. She kept tending to her beloved gardens overlooking Holly Pond in Darien, Connecticut. She continued to shine her light and energy on her surroundings, she gave hope and support to others, she never once complained and remained always there for the new and older friendships she has had over the years. Liz danced, loved every moment, and spread good energy all around.
She was a formidable force in fashion for more than 50 years, known for her exquisite eye, her keen instincts, and her ability to forecast market trends. In the midst of her success in the fashion industry, Liz was embarking on a new career path. In 2001, she and her husband, Architect Udi Saly, purchased their first beach-front lot in Akumal and introduced fifteen stunning, privately-owned Akumal retreats, built by Udi and impeccably designed by Liz, including their own aptly named villa, “Infinity.”
Throughout her career Liz was active in charitable and industry-related organizations, and was a founding board member of the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, the Fashion Roundtable, and Fashion Group International. A mentor since her early years in California, she found further outlet for that passion while working with the Esteem Team for Teens in NYC.
Born in California and a graduate of San Jose University, Liz is survived by four siblings and her beloved husband, Udi Saly, her lovable Mexican rescue pets, a street-dog named Fini, and a cat answering to the name of CatMandoo.
Her last words, written on an iPad while unable to speak at the hospital, were “OCEAN” and “GIFT”. She asked that her ashes be scattered in the waves of the Caribbean Sea and instructed her husband to gift the staff who maintain their villa and care for their beloved animals. Her heart then stopped at 3:40 PM that same day, on Monday the 29th of August 2016.
A heartfelt and stiringly emotional shaman-led ceremony was held on Punta Sur, Akumal incorporating the skills of María and Charlie. Over 50 friends, asked to dress in white, gathered beach-front to say farewell. María intoned the ancient rituals in Espanol while Udi did the translation and Charlie blew the conch shell. Each person in turn came to the center of the circle to whisper a personal good-bye and to place a white or golden rose infused with the smoke of copal into the heart-shaped in the sand. A sound system played Liz’s favorite songs; many had the group singing along. Udi then gathered the roses into a special basket that contained her ashes and he alone in a kayak paddled into the waves to join Liz with her cherished Caribbean Sea. The moon shone on the floating roses, and a lone white seabird flew overhead. Liz will be sorely missed, but her spirit will guide all who have known her and all who have been touched by her life.
I am so terribly sorry to hear about Liz Conover’s passing.
She was a very special lady. I admired her greatly.
Thank you for sharing the news and for publishing a wonderful tribute to her.
Our sympathy goes to Udi and her family for their loss.
John and Dorianne Venator
Udi, I met you and Liz in Oakland with my husband Bud. Both of you were so warm and inviting. Liz brought two bunches of roses from your friend in the bay area. Lynne didn’t make it and Liz sent those 2 bunches of roses home with me…a very gracious gift….They were beautiful!!! I never had such beauty…God’s blessings to you…and beautiful memories….